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The advantage of flexible targeting rules

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  • Andrea Ferrero

Abstract

This paper investigates the consequences of debt stabilization for inflation targeting. If the monetary authority perfectly stabilizes inflation while the fiscal authority holds constant the real value of debt at maturity, the equilibrium dynamics might be indeterminate. However, determinacy can be restored by committing to targeting rules for either monetary or fiscal policy that include a concern for stabilization of the output gap. In solving the indeterminacy problem, flexible inflation targeting appears to be more robust than flexible debt targeting to alternative parameter configurations and steady-state fiscal stances. Conversely, flexible fiscal targeting rules lead to more desirable welfare outcomes. The paper further shows that if considerations beyond stabilization call for a combination of strict inflation and debt targeting rules, the indeterminacy result can be overturned if the fiscal authority commits to holding constant debt net of interest rate spending.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 339.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:339

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Keywords: Inflation targeting ; Banks and banking; Central ; Monetary policy ; Fiscal policy ; Debts; External;

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  1. Stefano Eusepi & Jess Benhabib, 2005. "The Design of Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Global Perspective," 2005 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrea Ferrero, 2005. "Fiscal and Monetary Rules for a Currency Union," Macroeconomics 0508020, EconWPA.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  7. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1995. "Balanced-budget rules, distortionary taxes, and aggregate instability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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